In 2017, Most Terrorist Victims Were Murdered By White Supremacists

James Alex Fields Jr., of Ohio, killed Heather Heyer and injured 35 others when he rammed his car into a group of protesters at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia last August.Screengrab/CBS Los Angeles/YouTube

Early on, the Trump administration decided that it would give right-wing extremism a pass.

According to CNN, the vast majority of extremist killings in the United States last year came at the hands of right-wing extremists, with the Anti-Defamation League reporting that 20 of 34 domestic terrorism-related deaths falling into this category. Of those 20 lives lost, 18 were taken by white national extremists - more than any other individual group.

The Anti-Defamation League's annual report comes a day after Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen spoke about the threats to America to the Senate Judiciary Committee. She didn't mention the threat of right-wing extremist violence in the country.

"DHS has historically had a focus on right-wing extremism. It makes no sense not to acknowledge those groups that committed the preponderance of the extremist violence and murder in this country," [Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League] told CNN.

Greenblatt also noted that data show "it is far right-wing extremism, white supremacists and their ilk that are responsible for more extremist-related murders than any other group" over the past decade or so.

So why the shift in focus at the DHS?

Writing in August about the Trump administration's decision to revoke funding for Life After Hate - a nonprofit devoted to reforming right-wing extremists - and its decision to exclude far-right extremists from the Countering Violent Extremism program, the Washington Post editorial board summed up the new administration's motives well:

In light of the violence in Charlottesville, this decision appears tragically shortsighted. It also underlines the indifference of President Trump and his administration toward the problem of far-right violence.

[T]he choice to exclude the far right from CVE, together with Mr. Trump’s reluctance to condemn white supremacy following Ms. [Heather] Heyer’s death, makes a powerful statement about which violence this administration finds worthy of attention and condemnation and which violence it does not.